Firewood season opens May 1

The new firewood season opens May 1, according to national forest officials.

Initial supplies of firewood can be found at Antelope, Smoke, Dry Creek, Hartley, Oh Ridge and Reversed Peak Forest Management Areas located on the fuelwood map, according to an Inyo National Forest press release.

"Other areas may be opened later this season," the press release states. "Not all open areas may be snow-free at this time.

"Fuelwood permits will go on sale at Forest Service Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers in Bishop, Mammoth Lakes and Lee Vining beginning Saturday April 27. Maps showing areas open to cutting are available with the purchase of a fuelwood permit. Fuelwood permits are still $15 per cord with a two cord minimum purchase. Permittees will now be able to use credit cards to purchase fuelwood permits.
"The Forest Service is requesting persons interested in purchasing fuelwood permits to do so between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"Fuelwood permits may be obtained at the following locations: 
Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center in Lee Vining; (760) 647-3044
Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center in Mammoth Lakes; (760) 924-5500
White Mountain Ranger Station in Bishop; (760) 873-2500
"Permits may not initially be available at the InterAgency Visitor Center in Lone Pine. Please call ahead at (760) 876-6222.
"Permittees are advised to check in with their local Forest Service Ranger Stations and Visitor Centers for current conditions and accessibility. The Inyo National Forest will again institute chainsaw shut down days for fire safety based upon the daily Project Activity Level. Permit holders can call (760) 873-2555 for information on activity levels.
"The Fuelwood Strategy, developed with public participation in 1998, will continue to be implemented this year. Large ends of all downed logs (those portions greater than 30 inches in diameter) are required to remain on the forest floor for wildlife habitat and recycling of soil nutrients. 

"The majority of funds collected from permit sales are directly returned to the forest for continued implementation of this program. Comments on this strategy and the fuelwood program are always welcome.

For further information on the fuelwood program, contact your local ranger station or visitor center.